Lakeside Presbyterian Church Throws Out an Enormous Welcome Mat

Jul 25, 2023

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

Combined choirs from Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake, Iowa, and Synod School attendees offered two anthems during worship on Sunday. (Photo by Mike Ferguson)

STORM LAKE, Iowa — Members and friends of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake, Iowa, supersized the church’s welcome mat Sunday, welcoming scores of visitors attending this week’s Synod School put on annually by the Synod of Lakes and Prairies even as they prepared further hospitality to some of the 29,000 people who were bicycling into town Sunday as part of RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

“We’re getting some pews dusted we haven’t had dusted in a while,” joked Tom Daniels, the liturgist during worship on Sunday at Lakeside. Daniels later offered a prayer “for people we know and people we hope to know.”

Pastor Jenn Olson uncorked acts of welcome not often seen in even the most outgoing churches. Once she’d completed a memorable children’s time helping the young people act out the Jacob’s Ladder account found in Genesis 28, Olson enlisted three young arms to throw rolled-up church T-shirts into the expanded crowd of worshipers.

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